The smallest mistakes can come back to bite you in swimming.

The Portage girls swim team got bit a few too many times Tuesday night as the Warriors fell to Sauk Prairie 122-48 in a Badger North Conference dual meet at Rusch Elementary in Portage.

“We have some things that we need to work on and we keep focusing on details, and I think that’s really what we were kind of missing on tonight,” Portage coach Tammy Tollefson said.

The Eagles came soaring out of the gates, winning the first four events, including sweeps in the 200-meter freestyle and individual medley, to build a comfortable 46-16 lead at the break. Sauk Prairie continued to roll coming out of the intermission, sweeping the 100 butterfly for a 59-19 advantage.

For Tollefson, the early deficit was expected given the Warriors’ small numbers and need for certain girls in later events.

“Because we have a small team, we fill those places as best as we can, so we know those are going to be tough and that’s just the way it is,” she said. “We could have prevented most of the sweeps if we had that focus on details.”

The Warriors eventually got some momentum going over the final six events and picked up their first win in the 100 backstroke. Brooklyn Miller continued her strong season as the freshman won the event in a top time of 1 minute, 14.75 seconds.

Junior Rakelle Schultz was close behind, finishing under a second behind Miller in 1:15.58 to cap off the 1-2 finish.

“I hoped she could have carried a little bit further because at one point it looked like she could have been first place there,” Tollefson said of Schultz, who also finished second in the 50 freestyle (30.59 seconds). “That’s just learning how to fight through what you’re feeling and build a little sooner.”

Miller came close to another win two events earlier in the 100 freestyle, when she was out-touched by Mariah Chao. The Sauk Prairie senior finished in 1:04.95, just ahead of Miller at 1:05.09.

“We were glad they were going to have some competition,” Tollefson said. “We want that and we want them to understand what they need to do, but we need them to put everything together in that moment and that’s what it amounts to.”

Along with the performances of Miller and Schultz, the Warriors saw strong outputs from sophomore Leigha Andraschko and senior Allison Veglahn in the 100 breaststroke. Andraschko finished in second place, posting a time of 1:32.39, while Veglahn was close behind, finishing fourth in 1:33.15.

“Leigha wasn’t particularly pleased with that swim, but it’s good for her to have that kind of challenge,” Tollefson said. “Allison has been coming strong and if she can build into it a little bit sooner, I think we’re going to see better times from her.”

Freshman Madi Routson added a third place in the 400 freestyle (5:40.82) for the Warriors, while Portage’s 200 medley relay team of Miller, Andraschko, Schultz and Veglahn took second (2:19.34).

While Tollefson is aware that the Warriors’ early-meet struggles will continue, she knows the team will continue to push on.

“What we do need is when you’re going in and you need to compete, you need to execute and you have to have all those details down,” she said. “They’ll get there, they know it’s tough, but we’ll keep working at it.”

SAUK PRAIRIE 122, PORTAGE 48

Winners and Portage results: 200-meter medley relay — 1, Sauk Prairie, 2:16.04; 2, Portage (Miller, Andraschko, Schultz, Veglahn), 2:19.34; 5, Portage (Moyotl, Walters, Kohn, M. Aldridge), 2:43.76. 200 freestyle — 1, Rall, SP, 2:28.68; 4, J. Aldridge, Po, 2:53.95; 5, Copple, Po, 2:56.73; 6, Walters, Po, 2:58.11. 200 individual medley — 1, Miller, SP, 2:50.47; 4, Routson, Po, 3:02.76; 5, Tofson, Po, 3:27.79; 6, Moyotl, Po, 3:31.15. 50 freestyle — 1, Chao, SP, 29.60; 2, Schultz, Po, 30.59; 4, Veglahn, Po, 31.75; 6, M. Aldridge, Po, 35.12. 100 butterfly — 1, Williams, SP, 1:17.00; 4, Kohn, Po, 1:27.05; 5, M. Aldridge, Po, 1:28.62; 6, Walters, Po, 1:34.00. 100 freestyle — 1, Chao, SP, 1:04.95; 2, Miller, Po, 1:05.09; 5, Andraschko, Po, 1:15.25; 6, Benck, Po, 1:19.91. 400 freestyle — 1, C. Dunnum, SP, 5:25.57; 3, Routson, Po, 5:40.82; 5, Copple, Po, 6:13.05; 6, Kohn, Po, 6:15.07. 200 freestyle relay — 1, Sauk Prairie, 2:08.38; 3, Portage (Andraschko, Walters, M. Aldridge, Routson), 2:17.13; 4, Portage (J. Aldridge, Tofson, Benck, Copple), 2:30.58. 100 backstroke — 1, Miller, Po, 1:14.75; 2, Schultz, Po, 1:15.58; 6, J. Aldridge, Po, 1:33.22. 100 breaststroke — 1, Brickl, SP, 1:25.71; 2, Andraschko, Po, 1:32.39; 4, Veglahn, Po, 1:33.15; 6, Benck, Po, 1:50.97. 400 freestyle relay — 1, Sauk Prairie, 4:39.49; 3, Portage (Routson, Schultz, Veglahn, Miller), 4:39.99; 4, Portage (Kohn, Moyotl, Benck, J. Aldridge), 5:29.63.

Follow Sean Davis on Twitter @SDavis_PDR.